Sunday, July 12, 2009

Go Kan Mon

Can the practice of consuming food help bring us closer to the people we truly desire to be? Perhaps it can. Regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack thereof), I think we can all benefit from some principles based in Buddhist thought. “Go kan mon,” or the five outlooks, are printed on the menus of several Buddhist establishments in Japan. The five rules regarding food harmony are as follows:

Respect the efforts of all those who have toiled to cultivate and prepare your food

Live your life committing good deeds worthy of such nourishment

Come to the table without negative feelings toward others

Eat for both spiritual and physical well-being

Be serious in your pursuit of enlightenment

While these outlooks may seem a bit lofty for some of us, they can be summed up in one simple phrase: We eat to live, not live to eat. That is, we should eat with our life and well-being in mind. Remember these outlooks at your next meal, notice how delicious your food becomes, and take note of your progress toward becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Want to know more? Look for this book at your local library.

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